Raf’s Fresh New Comics for 4.13.2022

April Showers, Carol and John’s Shoppers! This week has a lot going on; Guardians Home Opener, Cavs Play-In Tournament, and Easter Sunday all coming up. “But wait, there’s more!” We’ve also got A LOT of great comics in the shop too this week that you’re not gonna want to miss out on. Let’s jump in! 

DC Comics

Since DC Rebirth launched in 2016 (on my 21st birthday no less), all the story threads and multiversity happenings in the DC Universe have led to this moment; it’s Flashpoint Beyond #0. Okay, so maybe technically starting in 2011’s original Flashpoint miniseries event, original writer Geoff Johns teams with artists Eduardo Risso and Xermanico for the big DC event of the spring. New villain The Clockwork Killer haunts Thomas Wayne Batman as he’s returned to his original home after the Flashpoint event reset the continuity years ago on a world he thought long gone. Johns has some help this time from co-writers Jeremy Adams (The Flash) and Tim Sheridan (Teen Titans Academy) to bring us the next installment in this fan-favorite alternate Batman’s story. Check out a trailer below.

Tom King’s epic and at times controversial Batman saga is nearing its finale with this week’s PENULTIMATE issue of Batman/Catwoman. There’s been a lot going on in this 12-issue maxiseries, but with issue #11, the three divergent storylines are coming closer and closer to their final climax with the wedding of Batman and Catwoman (for real this time) all that’s left after this. Last week I finally got the chance to sit and read King’s other, or one of, other 12-issue epics in Rorschach and boy was that gooood. Rorschach was a great mystery that subverts the original Watchmen and comic history in fun ways, but delivers an entirely new and gripping story. If that’s anything to go off of, I’m excited to see where The Bat and The Cat end up in King’s Batman/Catwoman.

There’s been a lot of chatter amongst the staff at Carol and John’s about Sandman recently. Some of us have read it, others of us haven’t, and some of us have tried but haven’t really been able to get into this classic series. There’s a lot to it, with so many one-shots and miniseries, but Netflix is releasing a Sandman TV series later this year, so DC is coming out with a new title in the Sandman Universe also. Sandman Universe: Nightmare Country is written by current horror comics maestro James Tynion IV of Nice House On The Lake, Something Is Killing the Children, and Department of Truth to name a few.

“Sometimes, nightmares walk the Earth. Every night when you sleep, the Lord of Dreams chooses the path you’ll follow… into a sylvan Elysium, or down the hallways of your darkest fears. And sometimes, if it is Dream’s will, those nightmares escape those halls, and go out into the world. But it is not a choice he makes lightly. Today the Corinthian walks the Earth again. The most feared of all Dream’s nightmares, his ravenous mouths have made him a legend among serial killers. Letting the Corinthian out among mortals is the most dangerous thing Dream could possibly do. But he has no choice—because there is another nightmare walking the Earth, one that must be hunted… and this monster is one that Dream, lord of all nightmares, did not make… Designed to welcome new readers into one of the greatest worlds in DC’s library, The Sandman Universe: Nightmare Country is a terrifying travelogue through a nation recognizable and obscene, which will show you things seen in no Sandman series ever before—with spectacular art by Lisandro Estherren (Redneck, Strange Skies Over East Berlin) and ‘nightmare’ sequences by comics art all-stars, starting with the incredible Yanick Paquette!” This series is also written by current horror comics maestro James Tynion IV of Nice House on the Lake, Something Is Killing the Children, and Department of Truth to name a few so fans can expect big things from this new title.

Marvel Comics

“Elektra has been many things – a pawn, a pariah, and even a provocateur. But through it all, she has been one thing above all others: the most dangerous human being in the Marvel Universe! Everything that has happened in her long and storied life has been leading to this: the 100th issue bearing her name, and the starting point of what is to come!” After the epic events of Chip Zdarsky’s first Daredevil run (new volume starting in June!) and the Devil’s Reign miniseries that just wrapped up, this oversized one-shot looks essential for fans looking towards the future of the Devil of Hell’s Kitchen.

Jonathan Hickman’s House/Powers of X event was huge for the X-Men universe, shaking the mutant status quo up in ways unlike anything ever before in their history. But while the effects of this event are still continuing in the current X titles, what would’ve happened if this Earth-shattering change had happened back in the 90’s and during the X-Men Animated Series? That’s what this week’s new series X-Men House of XCIII looks to answer. The current Krakoan Age comes to the X-universe 30 years early in this unexpected new series perfect for fans of the X-Men and other What If storylines.

Small Press

Aftershock’s 2020 series Kaiju Score, from creators James Patrick and Rem Broo, was an awesome heist action series that tied together with the tones of a Quentin Tarantino movie with Godzilla and Fast and Furious. It was a fun and chaotic book that was almost immediately optioned for a movie at Sony. Now, the sequel comes in Kaiju Score: Steal From the Gods. There was a lot of double-crossing and shady sh*t in the first series, so I’m excited to see where we pick up in this underappreciated series’ follow-up.

Also coming from the mind of James Tynion IV this week is the first trade paperback collection of the Something Is Killing the Children spinoff House of Slaughter. I have not been reading this series admittedly, but SIKTC’s first four volumes were brutal and great so I’m curious to jump into this new spinoff series. Oh, and the newest arc of SIKTC just recently started up, so there’s plenty for fans of this universe to dig into.

It’s a pretty scary week apparently as there’s one more horror series to check out this week with Steve Niles and Szymon Kudranski’s A Town Called Terror. Niles delivered us the original 30 Days of Night and Lonesome Days, Savage Nights from TKO, and on this new Image series he teams up with the artist behind recent Spawn and Punisher series Szymon Kudranski. A Town Called Terror stars couple Henry and Julie before Henry’s brutal kidnapping that leaves no trace, but Henry’s problems have only begun as he has to come to grips with where he’s been taken and how Julie is going to get him back. It’s a new Image #1, always worth a grab. 

It’s been a while since we’ve done staff picks of the week during our regular Tuesday night videos at the shop (Facebook Live on Tuesdays nights after close, shameless plug!), but if I had to pick one this week without even reading it, I know it’s the next Reckless book out now. Reckless: A Ghost in You by superstar creative duo Ed Brubaker and Sean Phillips is the next installment in their excellent Reckless original graphic novel series for Image. I’m not always up-to-date on everything, I’m only human, but I was able to finally read the last Reckless book last week, only to find out that another is coming out so soon. But I’m super excited because each book has been better than the last.

“It’s the winter of 1989 and Ethan is out of town, so this time, Anna has to tackle the job on her own. When a movie scream queen asks her to prove the mansion she’s renovating isn’t haunted, Anna will stumble into the decades-long mystery of one of Hollywood’s most infamous murder houses… a place with many dark secrets – some of which might just kill her. Another hit from the award-winning creators of Pulp, My Heroes Have Always Been Junkies, Criminal, Kill Or Be Killed” (and don’t forget Sleeper also) I don’t think I’ll be waiting nearly as long to read this next book. We’ve got the first three hardcovers in stock at the shop now, so pick those up if you haven’t read this series yet. Each one is spectacular on its own, and terrific together.

And that’s just about it for this week of April. Don’t forget about Free Comic Book Day coming up soon on May 7th (just 3 ½ more weeks!). Also, we’ve still got a few tickets left for the Jim Shooter VIP Event the Friday night before FCBD. You’ll get to meet Jim, listen to him and John Dudas talk about comics and industry stories, and also get your FCBD books a day early. Oh, and we also brewed our own beer that you’ll only be able to drink if you’re 21 and over and at the VIP Event. We’ve got a Pale Ale and Irish Red Ale we’re excited to share with everyone in attendance. Until then, we’ll see you all around in the shop.

The last thing… don’t forget to check us out on Tuesday nights for our Tuesday Night Live broadcast on Facebook. Here’s the link to the most recent event – https://fb.watch/cmzC3jeYzX/. You can find us typically on the FB Page every Tuesday night. Join us!